THE BLOG

2016: The Year of Mental Health

23/12/2015 09:06 GMT | Updated 22/12/2016 10:12 GMT

The past year has been a positive one for mental health, £600 million worth of investment for young people's mental health services but there are still major issues effecting the recovery of many sufferers.

So here's my five step plan for 2016 and why I believe it will be the year of change for mental health.

1.Prison Services: according to the prison reform trust more than 30% of female prisoners have had previous and current mental health issues and 10% of men in our prison system have received psychiatric help before entering prison. With 95% of young offenders suffering one or more mental health difficulty it's shocking to think there is little or no support in prisons.

Solution in 2016: Invest in specialist mental health services in young offenders institutions, this is a invest to save solution as if treated for their mental health issue they are much less likely to go on to commit crime in later life meaning huge savings to the country's purse.

2.Mental Health Services: Many mental health professionals have welcomed the investment but have risen their concerns about a 3% saving they have to make in services. One mental health professional said "they give with one hand and take with the other

Solution in 2016: Create more communication between mental health services and the department of health to resolve this issue. We also need to ring-fence all funding given to mental health services by the government.

3.Schools: Some schools are now starting to communicate better about mental health but concerns of lack of communication between mental health services and schools to detect pupils with or at risk of mental health difficulties.

Solution in 2016: To get schools to communicate better with their local mental health services to provide a solid foundation for pupils who may be struggling from mental illness.

4.Refugees: After the events of the last year, with millions of refugees fleeing the dangers and horrors of countries like Syria because of that, many of them suffer from mental health issues.

Solution in 2016: Work with major charities like Mind and Young Minds to give all the support we can when they arrive in Europe with pop up support centres treating them like human beings not just a statistic.

5.Welfare: Many young and older people in a mental health crisis find it hard to get back into work or education, but the welfare system at the moment is not working for the mentally ill.

Solution in 2016: A specialist group for the mentally ill, it would include three stages working with mental health professionals and incorporating small steps to create big change. A compassionate entry in to work.

The reason I think this is the year for mental health is simply because we can't afford it not to be.

The fundamentals of the situation clearly show big change has to come to make sure we cut down the number of suicides with have in this country and get back to helping people get better again.